Georgia Sports Communications
Nov. 25, 2023
ATLANTA, Ga. — The top-ranked Georgia football team continued to make Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium a home away from home Saturday night. In the Bulldogs’ regular-season finale, they rushed for 262 on their way to a 31-23 win over the Yellow Jackets, winning their 12th straight game on their in-state rival’s home field.
With the win, the Bulldogs’ 29th in a row, Georgia now has the longest winning streak in SEC history. The Bulldogs entered the game tied with a pair of Alabama squads over the years that won 28 straight. The win was also the 49th by the 2023 senior class, tying the program record set by the 2022 seniors.
Its regular season complete, and its run of consecutive regular-season wins at 39 games, Georgia (12-0) now turns its attention to next Saturday’s SEC Championship Game matchup against No. 8 Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Georgia has now won six in a row over Tech (6-6). Saturday’s win didn’t come easily, especially with the offense playing without weapons Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey and Rara Thomas, who were out while nursing injuries. The trio have a combined 100 receptions this season. Georgia also hurt itself with a two turnovers and six penalties for 60 yards.
Running back Kendall Milton rushed for a career-high 156 yards — his previous high of 127 yards was set against Ole Miss two weeks ago — and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
Quarterback Carson Beck finished 13 of 20 for 175 yards and a touchdown, completing five passes to Dominic Lovett for 68 yards and a touchdown, while Dillon Bell caught three passes for 37 and also had a 29-yard rush. Linebackers Smael Mondon Jr. and C.J. Allen led the defense with eight tackles each.
The Yellow Jackets struck first, forcing a Bulldog fumble on Georgia’s first offensive play, and then later taking a 7-0 lead on a nine-yard touchdown run by quarterback Haynes King.
It appeared that Tech had forced another turnover on Georgia’s next drive, this one a red-zone interception on pass intended for Lovett, but a review showed that the ball hit the ground. On the next play, Beck hit a wide open Lovett on the left side for a 29-yard touchdown, tying the game at 7-7 with 7:23 left in the opening quarter.
Tech regained the lead, 10-7, with a Aidan Birr 25-yard field goal with 35 seconds left in the opening quarter. The Yellow Jackets had a 108-86 advantage in total offense and about a five minute advantage in time of possession after the first quarter of play.
Georgia took its first lead with 12:40 to go in the first half on an impressive seven-play drive that covered 75 yards. It included a third-and-11 conversion on a screen to running back Daijun Edwards that gained 26 yards. On the next play, Milton ran hard up the middle for 18, followed by a seven-yard run. A quick screen right to Bell resulted in a 22-yard gain down to the 3, and Milton ran the ball in for a 14-10 lead on the next play.
Tech answered with a 12-play drive that ended with a 45-yard Birr field goal, cutting the Bulldog lead to 14-13 with 6:06 left in the first half. Georgia followed that with an 11-play touchdown drive that ended with a three-yard Edwards touchdown run and a 21-13 lead with 1:14 to play in the half. Edwards not only scored the touchdown, he kept the drive going with a 12-yard run on third-and-9 at the Tech 35.
Kicker Peyton Woodring booted a 39-yard field goal with 5:15 to play in the third quarter to make it 24-13 Bulldogs. Nearly five minutes later, after Tech came up empty on a fourth-and-7 pass from the Georgia 45, Milton rank the ball in for a four-yard touchdown and a 31-13 lead with 31 seconds remaining in the third. The drive was sparked first by a 29-yard Bell end-around rush to the left side, down to the Tech 26.
Tech broke loose for a 57-yard completion down to the Georgia 13 on the ensuing possession, but then the Bulldog defense got tough. On third-and-7 at the 10, linebacker Marvin Jones Jr. sacked King for a loss of 13, forcing Tech to settle for a 40-yard field goal that cut Georgia’s lead to 31-16 with 12:13 remaining.
With a 10-play, 80-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, Tech cut the Georgia lead to 31-23 with 3:46 remaining. King closed out the drive with a five-yard run up the middle. Tech got the ball after a Beck pass in the Yellow Jacket end zone on the previous Bulldog drive was tipped and intercepted.
Now only up by eight points, Georgia needed to close out the win. It started on the ensuing kickoff, an onside kick that the Bulldogs recovered at the Tech 48. Facing a third-and-3 at the Tech 41 with 2:49 remaining, Edwards ran for five yards and a key first down. Two plays later, Milton ran for 15 yards down to the 19, sealing the win.